A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster is called a refugee.

Refugees aren’t people who often travel in search of a better life and opportunity.
Those are migrants. 

The United Nations says refugees are people who have escaped from war or other violence where they live because they are scared that they might be injured or killed if they stay. 

More than 60 million people in the world have been forced from their homes.


Almost all the world’s refugees live in developing countries.

More than 3 million refugees from Syria were taken in by Turkey and Lebanon

The idea that a person could look for safety, or refuge, goes back to ancient Greece and Egypt when It was thought that gods would punish those who harmed anyone in a holy place.

The right to ask for safety in a holy place was first made into law by King Ethelbert of Kent in about 600 AD. It was in the late 18th-century in Europe that the phrase 'country of nationality' became more meaningful and people crossing borders had to start showing some kind of identification.

When World War II ended, there were more than 40 million refugees in Europe and international law and international organisations were quickly created to deal with this global problem. Read more on the Guardian's website.

So, as long as there are danger and conflict, there will be refugees. But since children below 18 years of age made up about half of the refugee population in 2016, its even more important that the world works for peace.

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